Once you have developed the basic outline of the paper, organize the contents to match the standard format of a research paper as described in this guide.
Note: this post was originally written by Heather Campbell in Those main points are your sub-headings. Continue to add text boxes until your paper is completely outlined — and perhaps until your paper is completely written.
Choose either a topic outline or a sentence outline based on which one you believe will work best for you. This gives you peace of mind and a chance to triple check.
Is your audience hostile or sympathetic to your position? A clear, detailed outline ensures that you always have something to help re-calibrate your writing should you feel yourself drifting into subject areas unrelated to the research problem.
If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e.
Make the effort to ensure that your final paper is clean, tidy, neat, and attractive. Decide which of your boxes contain major ideas, then begin to line them up on the left side of your page. Explain the purpose of your paper and how you plan to approach the topic.
Taking the time to draft an outline can help you determine if your ideas connect to each other, what order of ideas works best, where gaps in your thinking may exist, or whether you have sufficient evidence to support each of your points.
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